Casa De Segunda, situated in the busy streets of Lipa, Batangas, is now a 136-year old ancestral house. This is not the typical ancestral house as this is where Jose Rizal’s first love, Segunda Solis Katigbak, lived.
I was all the more fascinated when I learned that before going inside, guests should ring the old bell to enter the casa! Being a city girl who is not used to seeing something like this in the metro, I felt I was transported to the 1880s era.
We entered an old gate and a number of Balete trees welcomed us. It was not that creepy for me as old houses always fascinate me – minus the infamous things that happened there, of course. This has been home to some Japanese as well when they forced Filipino to surrender their homes to them. Thinking about it, ilan na kaya ang namatay sa bahay na ‘to?
The old fountain at the center of the front yard caught my attention first. Its design made me think of how creative the people were before. And mind you, it’s still intact and working.
After a while, I saw an old woman now present and mingling with the team. Found out that she is the granddaughter of Segunda Katigbak.
The History of Casa De Segunda
Casa De Segunda is named after Jose Rizal’s first love, Segunda Solis Katigbak. The house is built in 1860s by Don Norberto Calao Katigbak, a gobernadorcillo, from 1862 to 1863, and was given to his daughter, Doña Segunda Solis Katigbak, Dr. Jose Rizal’s first love.
The house has been repaired in the year 1956 by Paz-Luz Dimayuga and eventually declared as one of the national heritage houses in the Philippines by the National Historic Institute.
Now, Casa De Segunda has been opened to the public as a museum for 20 years already.
A Tour Inside Casa De Segunda
Lola Lilet Malabanan, the granddaughter of Segunda Katigbak (she calls her Lola Unday), has been the tour guide of the casa for over 20 years already.
She started to tour us around the first floor of the house. As she was looking back, she noted about how the Katigbak Family were so prominent before, how the Japanese invaded the big houses of Lipa, and how Lipa has been one of the richest towns before because it was once the sole coffee maker/exporter worldwide.
The first floor now looks like a receiving area with a big painting of Segunda Katigbak, old sala set, and some old pots and ornaments.
_Upon entrance, you will see this big portrait of Segunda Katigbak like her way of welcoming you to her house.
After checking out the living room, we went straight to their dining area. Plates and glasses used by the Katigbak’s were still there and intact together with the cooking wares.
While Lola Milet was talking about their dining area, I was actually thinking I hope our family also tried to keep some of the old things and bauls of our great-great grandparents. What we only have now is the aparador of our Lola. Hope our Lolo’s baul is still in our ancestral house in Masbate.
Anyway, going back, after touring around the first floor, we were guided to the second floor of Casa De Segunda. I was amazed by how grand the casa is. Naisip ko, anu-ano kaya ang mga nangyari dito noon?
And then a strong wind blew us while Lola’s still touring us around. Medyo creepy. I can feel something heavy. Hehe.
They went to the rooms while I was still enjoying the fresh air of Lipa.
I love how well-ventilated the place is. Every where I look, I see windows. Nakakatuwa.
We went to the bedrooms of the house as well and it’s a bit creepy for me. Hehe.
I don’t know but the makabayan in me is proud that there’s a house that was spared in wars because this tells so much about the past.
Ever since I went to Corregidor and Bataan, I’m glad that my trips are all connected with history. I am not really interested before with history even in my highschool and college years, but everything has changed after my trip to Corregidor. Its like really going back to your roots and knowing what really happened then.
If you are around Lipa and would like to have a sidetrip at Casa De Segunda, please see below details.
This is the second stop of our two-day CALABARZON Culinary Tour. Warmest thanks to the Department of Tourism Region IV-A and to QuePATTA (Quezon Province Association of Travel and Tour Agencies).
Check out our CALABARZON Culinary Tour Travel Series:
Culinary Tours or Food crawls are truly one of the best ways to explore a place. Not only you get to experience local dishes but, you’ll get to know more about their rich culture and heritage as well.
Last April 2019, I was fortunate to experience the beauty of CALABARZON and its delicious local dishes and delicacies. I’ve been to all areas of CALABARZON for mountain climbing, beach bumming, glampings, and staycations but I’ve never tried exploring their food.
But glad that I can now fully say that CALABARZON is indeed blessed with history, culture, people, and FOOD.
Together with the Department of Tourism Region IV (CALABARZON) and QuePATTA (Quezon Province Association of Travel and Tour Agencies), for two days, we ranged over the province, met lovely people (their passion for food is WOW!) and ate mouthwatering cuisines in CALABARZON.
Calabarzon, also spelled as CALABARZON, formally known as Southern Tagalog Mainland and designated as Region IV-A, is an administrative region in the Philippines. The region comprises five provinces: Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon, and one highly urbanized city, Lucena. – Wikipedia
The region is situated south of the National Capital Region, and is bordered by the Manila Bay in the west, Lamon Bay and the Bicol Region in the east, the Tayabas Bay and Sibuyan Sea in the south, and the provinces of Aurora, Bulacan, and Metro Manila in the north. It is home to places like Mount Makiling near Los Baños, Laguna and the Taal Volcano in Talisay, Batangas.
TheCALABARZON Culinary Tour
This CALABARZON Culinary Tour is being offered by the QuePATTA (Quezon Province Association of Travel and Tour Agencies).
The organization, together with the DOT Region IV-A believes that CALABARZON is so much blessed with heirloom cuisines that should never be forgotten. Thus, the CALABARZON Culinary Tour was born.
The Two-Day Culinary Tour
This is actually my first time to experience a food crawl and I loved everything about it. Everything was well organized and the chosen restaurants speak so much about its own native land. Listed below is our itinerary for our CALABARZON Food Trip.
Quezon’s Best House Of Pasalubong And Restaurant – Tiaong, Quezon
Earthkeepers’ Garden And Restaurant – Tiaong, Quezon
Ouan’s The Farm Resort – Lucena, Quezon
Luisa and Daughter Restaurant – Lucena, Quezon
Quezon Capitol Building Lucena, Quezon | Sidetrip
Kamayan Sa Palaisdaan – Tayabas, Quezon
Air Summit Gourmet – Tayabas, Quezon | Sidetrip
Fisher’s Lake – Tayabas, Quezon | Sidetrip
Food Carving in Paete – Paete, Laguna | Sidetrip
Kape Kesada – Paete, Laguna
Balaw Balaw Restaurant – Angono, Rizal
Yes, friends. We went to all these restaurants! If you are interested to know more about our food tour, read on.
DAY 1 – Cavite – Batangas – Quezon
Day 1 was well spent. I guess it was clever to start in Silang, Cavite for the food tour since our last destination is in Angono, Rizal. Since we will start in Cavite, and I am from Cavite, I opted to go straight to our first destination. The entire day was full of fun and energy (hi, super hyper blogger friends!) PLUS food! Never been so full in my life. Haha!
As mentioned in my blog review of Asiongs, if you are looking for a chill place with huni ng mga ibon and Imelda Papin songs in the background, this is your abode.
Being a chill-probinsyana-turned-nagpapaka-busy-city girl, Asiong is something that I wanted to spend my weekend with.
This restaurant is secludedly located inside Silang’s lush greens. Upon entrance, you’ll already feel relaxed as this is not the typical modern designed restaurant.
What to Order at Asiong’s of Cavite?
We went here for breakfast and here’s some of the dishes we ate. Don’t forget about the Pancit Pusit, please! Also, if you happen to visit Asiongs, you may want to look for the very hands on owner, Mr. Sonny Lua. I don’t know, he’s like a magnet. He made me laugh so hard with his witty jokes. Hehe. You’ll love the history of Asiong’s as well. Check it out in my Asiong’s Caviteno Restaurant Review.
Personally, Asiong’s is something that I’ll visit again for my next Silang, Cavite adventure. Maybe I’ll plan to try their lunch or dinner together with my Mama during the cold season.
I thought we will be dining here for lunch pero nag side trip lang pala kami. Hehe.
Casa De Segunda in Lipa, Batangas is very rich in history as this casa was built in the year 1880. This 136-year-old house surpassed World War I and II already and is the only remaining old house in Lipa.
I love how nature welcomed us here. Everywhere I see, plants and trees are present. Earthkeepers indeed!
What to order at Earthkeeper’s Garden Restaurant?
What’s good about Earthkeepers is they are serving food in glass bottles/jars and banana leaves. Earthkeeper’s served us another surprising merienda.
We ate Sinulbot, a pre-kalamay merienda which is a rice cake, by the way. It’s sauce is made of coconut milk with brown sugar. With Sinulbot, we were served cold Buko Juice straight from the backyard of Earthkeepers!
5. Ouan’s The Farm Resort
Location: Lucena, Quezon
After a day full of activities and food, we were welcomed by one of the most popular resorts in Quezon, the Ouan’s The Farm Resort.
What I love about this resort is it is surrounded by trees. This family resort was also the venue for our candlelight dinner and Tagayan night, a special ceremony for VVIP as per QuePATTA’s Officer, Ms. Tina Tagala.
We are also humbled to know their family history through Retired General Recaredo Sarmiento II’s museum. Glad and inspired to hear their very story from the retired general himself. I guess his love for his family and wife is the reason for all his successes in life.
Day 2 | Quezon – Laguna – Rizal
Day 2 is actually more full blast than our first day. We started with Quezon ending in Angono, Rizal. We also had side trips to different places to go while in Quezon and Laguna.
1. Grandma’s Kitchen – Ouan’s The Farm Resort
Our Day 2 started with a heavy breakfast from the quaint and lovely restaurant of Ouan’s Resort called Grandma’s Kitchen.
It is situated beside the resort’s swimming pools so you can already feel refreshed while watching friends and families enjoying the pool.
What to Order at Ouan’s The Farm Resort?
For breakfast, we had Malunggay Omellete, Tinapa, Quezon Longganisa, fried rice and lots of tomatoes. I also wanna note their coffee as I can compare it that of Banaue!
2. Luisa and Daughter Restaurant
Location: Lucena, Quezon
After bidding goodbye to Ouan’s Resort, which had been an instant favorite, we went straight to Luisa and Daughter Restaurant.
Luisa and Daughter Restaurant is a humble family-run restaurant in Quezon.
Address: Km. 101, Tiaong, 4325 Quezon
Phone Number: (042) 545 7112
Operating Hours: 6:00 AM to 10:00 PM
Here we were taught how to make Pancit Chami which can be regular or hot and spicy. Of course, I love how tasteful the spicy one is. It’s also a bit more salty and more saucy.
What to order at Luisa and Daughter Restaurant?
Pancit Chami is best paired with turon! And don’t forget to put on some calamansi for a more appetizing Pancit Chami!
After a quick side trip to Quezon’s Capitol, we went straight to the popular Kamayan sa Palaisdaan in Tayabas, Quezon for our lunch.
It was actually surreal to me because I have been reading this only before and finally, I get to explore and experience this restaurant with a man-made pond. The pond has over 60 floating kubo.
What to order at Kamayan Sa Palaisdaan?
After being served with grilled liempo (my favorite, of course!), grilled tilapia, and ginataang suso with pako, we were serenaded by this group of handsome Titos! I love them singing the hits today like ‘Buwan’ of Juan Carlos among others.
Never thought I’ll get back to Kape Kesada after three years, I guess? This quaint coffee shop / art gallery situated at the heart of Paete, Laguna is just minutes away from the Paete church, Municipal Hall, and as far as I remembered, it is also near the wood carvers of Paete.
What to Order at Kape Kesada
Here we ate Kalamay (we call this Biko in Masbate), Minani (cubed cassava fried in garlic and salt ) and Laksa. Laksa, vegetables in coconut milk, is best paired with biko. It was a surprise at first but when I got to try it, it really blended well with the biko!
I think I ate around 10 pieces of biko that I forgot to take a picture! Haha!
7. Balaw-Balaw Restaurant
Location: Angono, Rizal
Address: Doña Justa Street, Angono, 1930 Lalawigan ng Rizal
It was around 8PM when we arrived at Balaw-Balaw Restaurant in Angono, Rizal. Here I was surprised that Balaw-Balaw is actually an art gallery as well.
The interior of the restaurant is pretty quaint and I feel that the place together with its paintings and stuff tells a number of different stories. I would love to explore more and ask about the gallery next time I visit the place.
What to order at Balaw-Balaw Restaurant?
Balaw-Balaw is not your ordinary restaurant. Aside from the exotic food choices, Balaw-Balaw is also housing paintings, sculptures, among others.
For the food, I suggest you try their best seller, Minaluto. Minaluto is actually like paella with seafood, fried chicken at pork. You can also choose from their yellow (turmeric) or black (with tinta ng pusit) rice.
I was actually surprised by their food servings here:
Nilasing na hipon – this dish is made of shrimps marinated in alcohol, coated and then deep fried until golden.
Lauya – beef soup
Binalot na itik sa pita – native duck wrapped in pita bread
Minaluto – this is actually like the usual Paella. You may order the yellow rice (turmeric) or the black one (squid rice).
If given another time to visit Angono, I will definitely try again Balaw-Balaw Restaurant because I feel like I haven’t fully checked out the place when we were there.
CALABARZON Foodtrip Side trips
While going around on your food tour, here are some side trips that you may want to check out.
1. Food Carving in Paete
Location: Paete, Laguna
One good stop we had was the food carving in Paete, Laguna by Ernesto Sena (ship and flowers in vase) and Nomiric Baisas (flowers and eagle). Love that I actually got to experience actual food carving here in Paete!
2. Quezon Provincial Capitol
Location: Tayabas, Quezon
This century-old building in Tayabas is considered a national treasure. Its breathtaking Neoclassical Art-Deco style was designed by Architect Juan Arellano and is serving as an alarm clock for its people. Here, a familiar siren is being heard three times a day – at 7 in the morning, 12 noon and 5 in the afternoon.
Air Summit Gourmet is a sister-restaurant of Kamayan sa Palaisdaan. It is an airplane-turned-restaurant still in Tayabas, Quezon, minutes away from Kamayan sa Palaisdaan.
I love how they have their own ‘immigration office’ where guests can ‘check-in’ before going up the plane. We were glad to be assisted by the owners of Kamayan to explore Air Summit. Wish we can go back and really experience dining here!
4. Fishers Lake
Location: Tayabas, Quezon
Address: Lucban – Tayabas Rd, Tayabas, Quezon
Phone Number: (042)793-3654/55 0918.951.0460 or 0917.556.2642
Another sister restaurant of Kamayan sa Palaisdaan, Fisher’s Lake boasts an upscale-ish Kamayan sa Palaisdaan. One unique experience you will get is, since the tables soaked in the water, you’ll get to experience to eat with fishes on your feet. Free foot massage, everyone!
Looking back to our two-day super foodie tour, which I thought was not possible by the way, I was glad that it was properly and strategically organized as I have never felt the hassle of touring around for days. Imagine going around CALABARZON in just two days?
With this, I highly suggest you contact Ms. Tina Tagala if you are interested to join a Culinary Tour around CALABARZON.
We would also like to express our appreciation to Stella Salvacion (My Journey Travel and Tours President), Nino Magararo (Rainsummer Travel and Tours Vice-President), Maria Luisa Villabroza (Myles Travel and Tours), and Marilyn Mendiola (Sunburst Travel and Tours Treasurer).
My warmest thanks to the Department of Tourism CALABARZON and QUEPATTA for showing us how beautiful and wonderful CALABARZON is!
Check out our CALABARZON Culinary Tour Travel Series: